Commentary

Heavy Social Network Visitors Also Prefer Leisure Retail Sites

Heavy Social Network Visitors Also Prefer "Leisure" Retail Sites

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A recent comScore study shows that heavy U.S. visitors to social networking sites (the top 20 percent of visitors based on time spent on social networking sites) are significantly more likely than average to visit leisure-oriented retail site categories. More than 95 percent of heavy social networkers visited retail sites in August, compared to 80 percent of the total U.S. Internet audience. These heavy social networkers exhibited a particularly high tendency to visit the more leisure-oriented retail categories, including those featuring entertainment, fashion, and retail technology.

Top Retail Site Categories Among Heavy Social Networkers(August 2007 TotalU.S.- Home/Work/University Locations)

Retail Site Category

Total Unique Visitors (000)

Visitors that are Heavy Social Networkers (000)

Heavy Social Networkers as a Percentage of Total Site Visitors

Heavy Social Networker Index*                              &n bsp;          

Total Internet 

181,257

23,595

100.0

100

Retail Sites

145,778

22,516

15.4

119

    Music 

23,985

6,825

28.5

219

    Jewelry/Luxury   Goods/Accessories

17,125

4,531

26.5

203

    Apparel 

61,184

15,157

24.8

190

    Tickets

42,893

10,530

24.5

189

    Consumer Electronics

49,110

11,714

23.9

183

    Sports/Outdoor 

29,208

6,965

23.8

183

    Computer Software

24,132

 5,716

23.7

182

    Books

62,276

14,700

23.6

181

    Movies

27,043

6,316

23.4

179

    Computer Hardware 

67,449

15,288

22.7

174

Source: comScore Segment Metrix

* Heavy Social Networker Index = Percentage of heavy social networkers/percentage of total Internet audience x 100; Index of 100 represents parity

comScore Chairman, Gian Fulgoni, said "There appears to be a natural synergy between the leisure categories and social networking sites. People typically enjoy sharing their experiences with these products, whether it's to talk about their new iPhone or the pair of designer jeans they just bought... "

 The current study also examined which individual sites attracted the highest percentage of visitors from the heavy social networking segment, revealing that the heavy social networkers have a strong propensity to visit retail apparel sites. In fact, each of the top ten ranked sites were fashion and apparel sites oriented to young adults.

Top Retail Sites* Among Heavy Social Networkers(August 2007 TotalU.S.- Home/Work/University Locations)

Retail Site Category

 Total Unique Visitors (000)

Visitors that are Heavy Social Networkers (000)

Heavy Social Networkers as a Percentage of Total Site Visitors

Heavy Social Networker Index*

Total Internet:Total Audience

181,257

23,595

13.0

100

TattooJohnny.com

1,040

579

55.7

428

Alloy

6,987

3,614

51.7

397

HollisterCo.com

2,520

1,268

50.3

386

HotTopic.com

1,476

735

49.8

382

PacSun.com

1,670

803

48.1

 370

Wetseal Inc.

1,518

697

45.9

353

Forever 21, Inc.

1,828

 795

43.5

334

Aeropostale.com

1,707

741

43.4

333

Abercrombie & Fitch Co.

2,704

1,173

43.4

333

AE.com

3,475

1,486

42.8

329

Source: comScore Segment Metrix

* Based on retail sites with at least 1 million  unique visitors in August 2007

** Heavy Social Networker Index = Percentage of heavy social networkers/percentage of total Internet audience x 100; Index of 100 represents parity

 "Apparel retailers... geared towards younger consumers... can benefit by considering the use of social networking sites as a marketing channel," concluded Mr. Fulgoni. 

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